How it started
Nurses have always been welcome to participate in ILAE activities but nurse-specific program activities and opportunities were limited. In recent years, ILAE recognized that the voice of nurses was missing from many conversations, despite the important role nurses have in the care of people with epilepsy. Unmet unique learning and practice needs of epilepsy nurses were identified. A Nursing Task Force was created to explore these needs and priorities. Two publications arose from the Nursing Task force:
- Benefits of the epilepsy specialist nurses (ESN) role, standardized practices and education around the world, Revue Neurologique (2019)
- Educating Patients and Families in COVID-19 Era: Needs, Gaps and the Role of Nurses A Report prepared by the Nursing Task Force of the ILAE (2020)
This task force also began the development of educational curricula for nurses and worked with ILAE leadership to create a ‘home’ for nurses around the world who care for people with epilepsy – the ILAE Nursing Section.
The Nursing Section is led by a board or leadership group consisting of:
- Chair – Patricia Osborne Shafer, RN, MN, FAES
- Vice-Chair – Jane von Gaudecker, PhD, RN, FAES
- Secretary – Karen Legg, RN, MN-NP
- Treasurer – Sandra R. Dewar, PhD, APRN, FAES
- Regional Representatives from Africa, Asia-Oceania, Eastern Mediterranean, Europe, Latin America, North America
- Leaders of Nursing Workgroups
- Invited Liaisons
The Nursing Section has 3 standing workgroups and will develop others as needed to meet participants’ needs.
- Nursing Education and Development: developing educational curricula for nurses in epilepsy, conducting nursing symposia and written materials
- Clinical Care and Best Practices: identifying/sharing best practices, quality improvement and research needs and findings
- Advocacy: promoting recognition of nurses as leaders and importance of nurses in multidisciplinary patient-centered care; communicating contributions of nurses to epilepsy care and benefits for people/families living with epilepsy
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